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Sajida Ahmed collects over 400 toys each year for the Annual Day of Dignity to give to underprivileged children in the Martin Luther King Recreation Center neighborhood near downtown Dallas.

A Mind for Business and a Heart for the Homeless:

Sajida Ahmed is Making a Difference

 

While doctors take care of the many seriously ill patients that come through their private practices due to the Coronavirus, who is taking care of the doctors?

 

Sajida Ahmed understands that doctors are overwhelmed and beginning to quit private practice in large numbers, siting both physical and mental fatigue. Many in private practice can’t keep up with their workload and the paperwork that accompanies it: Insurance, patient medical records, billing, HIPAA requirements.

 

But Sajida Ahmed is the “Finance Doctor,” there to help overworked and exhausted doctors to keep doing what they do best: heal sick patients.

 

Her specialty is medical billing and AR, and she has been able to recover thousands of dollars from AR (Accounts receivables) for cardiologists which they may have had to write off.

 

Strong and Self Reliant

 

Born in Kuwait, Sajida went to a boarding school at the age of seven to Murree, a city in a different country from where her parents lived. She says, “I learned self-reliance at a very early age.”

 

She completed high school at the age of fourteen in Kuwait. “I was a nerd as a kid, not involved in sports, was always at the top of my class. My parents thought since I was so smart, I should skip a few grades, so I skipped grade 2 and then skipped grade 7, that’s how I was the youngest person in my graduating class.”

 

Sajida went to college in Rawalpindi, Pakistan and received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics & statistics. She finished at the top of her class and received a silver medal for being at the top in a college of three thousand students. While in college she played volleyball and acted on stage in a few plays.

 

After college she went to Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, Pakistan and got a master’s in Computer Science. She remembers, “At the time computer science was a very new field and there were very few girls. I was the only girl in my class and one of three girls in the entire department of Computer Science.”

 

She loved to hike and walk for hours around campus and the city. She completed her degree in June, got married in July and five days later moved to the USA to go to school at Iowa State University. There she earned a master’s degree in Computer Science from Iowa State University while working 20 hours a week as a teaching assistant.

 

She’s worked in three countries and six states. “My first job was in Iowa, then we moved to New Jersey, after that I worked in Rockford, Illinois, then Madison Wisconsin.”

 

She says, “The first time I became a manager, I found it fascinating that here I was a brown woman managing 10 white men.” She and her husband moved to Texas and worked for Textron the parent company of Bell Helicopter and Cessna Airplanes and worked for Raytheon in McKinney. The couple moved to California where Sajida worked for eBay and PayPal in the Bay Area in California before they decided to move back to Texas.

 

Helping Doctors Avoid Burn out

 

Having worked in corporate America in the tech industry for 25 years, Sajida’s last job was as a consultant for eBay and PayPal, where she was managing 1200 people in four continents and working 18 hours a day. She decided to quit and work for herself.

 

Seeing her sister, a physician, at the brink of burnout, she made it her mission to help doctors in private practice achieve a work/life balance while managing a very profitable practice.

 

The pandemic has made her work crucial to the many doctors she works with.

 

Three years ago, she started her business, S2N2 Medical Business Solutions. Her passion is to help private medical practices thrive. She says proudly, “I have very good relationships with my client doctors.” Her goal is simple: to inspire people to do their best and help medical practices be more efficient and profitable.

 

Sajida is the Finance Doctor. She explains: “I specialize in the financial health of my doctors and improving practice workflow efficiency; from front desk operations to coding recommendations, to billing, to patient statements and collections.” Her business management expertise helps to maximize revenue for private medical practices allowing doctors to do what they do best: heal others.

 

The name of her business comes from her family’s favorite movie series.  “We as a family are huge fans of ‘Star Wars,’ so the name is inspired from R2D2 in Star Wars. Both my husband, Sohail, and I have names that start with “S,” and both our children’s names start with “N,” so the business is S2N2 Medical Business Solutions.”

 

Sajida says, “I love helping people. Having my own business gives me the flexibility to work on my own time.” Even so, her hours tend to be long: most days she’s at work by 8 a.m. and sometimes doesn’t finish until 8 p.m.

Helping the Homeless

She credits her father with her strong work ethic and passion for helping those in need. “I inherited the passion of helping people in need from my father.” Sajida explains, “I find joy in serving the homeless, especially kids. The joy of seeing a smile on a child's face when we give them a new toy is priceless.”  She has committed to donating 10% of her business income to charity every year and has co-founded a non-profit organization to make this happen.

Community Outreach

Sajida has been helping the community by giving out grocery boxes to the elderly during COVID, donating to the Children's Advocacy Center, giving toys to children in underserved communities, donating to Texas Food Banks, supplying a Thanksgiving meal to families staying at the Ronald McDonald house and giving clothes to the homeless.

She is also on the board of a non-profit that builds schools in remote areas where there is no internet, no schools and sometimes no electricity.

Once a year she is an integral part of the “Day of Dignity” at the Martin Luther King Center in Dallas.  “We bring people from six homeless shelters to the MLK Center to give them clothes, undershirts, socks, hygiene kits etc.”

She has been giving 10% of her business income to charity and is very heavily involved in philanthropic work. Sajida does one project a month with the homeless or food bank or Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Her project for December 2021 was providing a holiday meal to Promise House, a homeless shelter for teens and children in Dallas, feeding twenty-five kids and ten staff members. She also gave out $35 gift cards to each of the seven teen moms at the shelter and toys to the teen moms’ babies.

 

A hard working, determined to “Do Good” woman, she says she would love to meet Oprah Winfrey one day – another woman who is known for building schools and fulfilling dreams.

 

Family Life

 

Married to her childhood sweetheart, Sohail Ahmed, Sajida says, “We met when I was 15, and we have been together since.” He is an architect and has his own architectural company in Fort Worth. The couple have a son who lives in Wisconsin with his wife and daughter and a daughter who lives in California.

 

Blessed with two healthy grown children and, “The love of my life, my adorable granddaughter, Nora,” Sajida is generous with others whenever she can help.

 

She loves to travel and that’s a good thing, since she’s never lived in a state or country for more than eight years. She’s moved seventeen times since being married and since moving to America, has lived in New Jersey, California, Iowa, Illinois and Texas. Her personal goal is to see all the “Wonders of the World.” So far, she’s seen the pyramids of Egypt, Niagara Falls, Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, and The Coliseum in Rome.

 

Overcoming Challenges

 

She also loves challenges. She remembers, “In the third year of college, I decided I wanted to major in mathematics, I studied the entire course work of two years during the summer holidays. My professor thought I was nuts and would never be able to graduate in four years, but I not only proved her wrong, but I was also at the top of my class.”

 

Life has been difficult at times. “Going to graduate school full time, with a

2-month-old baby, while working 20 hours a week and completing my dissertation, all the while applying for a full-time job - it was the toughest time of my life.” But – she survived – and now thrives. “That experience taught me that there are 24 hours in a day, and I have to make the best use of each hour.”

 

She knows she is driven. “I am a very hard worker; I have two businesses and I work seven days a week.” But she finds time to do philanthropic work and still have fun. “I like to go out, watch movies, attend parties and I love to travel.  I still have time left over, so I think to myself, why am I wasting time? What else should I do?”

 

Need to help a doctor? Or a bit of inspiration? Contact Sajida Ahmed, CEO

(682) 273-0386

(650) 450-6531

https://bit.ly/SajidaAhmed

www.s2n2solutions.com

 Judy Porter, MBA writes about local heroes in the DFW Metroplex.

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Proud grandmother Sajida Ahmed (in gold) often works long hours helping doctors so they can do what they do best: heal sick patients. A cruise to Cozumel with family in 2019 was one break she took before Covid slowed travel. Her family includes (L-R) Nabeel, Anne, Nora, Nadia, Sajida and her husband Sohail.

A Mind for Business and a Heart for the Homeless:

Sajida Ahmed is Making a Difference 

 

While doctors take care of the many seriously ill patients that come through their private practices due to the Coronavirus, who is taking care of the doctors?

 

Sajida Ahmed understands that doctors are overwhelmed and are beginning to quit private practice in large numbers, due to both physical and mental fatigue. Many in private practice can’t keep up with their workload and the enormous paperwork that accompanies it: Insurance, patient medical records, billing, HIPPA requirements.

 

But Sajida Ahmed is the “Finance Doctor,” there to help overworked and exhausted doctors to keep doing what they do best: heal sick patients.

 

Her specialty is medical billing and Accounts Receivables, and she has been able to recover thousands of dollars from AR for cardiologists which they may have had to write off. Her work behind the scenes makes them more efficient - and can save lives.

 

Strong and Self Reliant

 

Born in Kuwait, Sajida went to a boarding school at the age of seven to Murree, a city in a different country from where her parents lived. She says, “I learned self-reliance at a very early age.”

 

She completed high school at the age of fourteen in Kuwait. “I was a nerd as a kid, not involved in sports, was always at the top of my class. My parents thought since I was so smart, I should skip a few grades, so I skipped grade 2 and then skipped grade 7, that’s how I was the youngest person in my graduating class.”

 

Sajida went to college in Rawalpindi, Pakistan and received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics & statistics. She finished at the top of her class and received a silver medal for being at the top in a college of three thousand students. While in college she played volleyball and acted on stage in a few plays.

 

After college she went to Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, Pakistan and got a master’s in Computer Science. She remembers, “At the time computer science was a very new field and there were very few girls. I was the only girl in my class and one of three girls in the entire department of Computer Science.”

 

She loved to hike and walk for hours around campus and the city. She completed her degree in June, got married in July and five days later moved to America to go to school at Iowa State University. There she earned a master’s degree in Computer Science from Iowa State University while working 20 hours a week as a teaching assistant.

 

She was pregnant in her second year of her masters’ studies and had her son during grad school while completing her degree. With no internet at the time, she had to go to the department computer room to complete my assignments. “I would take my baby with me so I could breast feed him and take care of him while completing my assignments.” Sometimes she would be there till 3 a.m.

 

Right after she completed her dissertation, Sajida worked for Pioneer Hi-Bred company in Des Moines Iowa, returning to her college campus for her graduation ceremony after she had been working for five months.

 

Now she’s worked in three countries and six states. “My first job was in Iowa, then we moved to New Jersey, after that I worked in Rockford, Illinois, then Madison Wisconsin.”

 

She says, “The first time I became a manager, I found it fascinating that here I was a brown woman managing 10 white men.” She and her husband moved to Texas and worked for Textron the parent company of Bell Helicopter and Cessna Airplanes and worked for Raytheon in McKinney. The couple moved to California where Sajida worked for eBay and PayPal in the Bay Area in California before they decided to move back to Texas.

 

Helping Doctors Avoid Burn out

 

Having worked in corporate America in the tech industry for 25 years, Sajida’s last job was as a consultant for eBay and PayPal, where she was managing 1200 people in four continents and working 18 hours a day. She decided to quit and work for herself.

 

Seeing her sister, a physician, at the brink of burnout, she made it her mission to help doctors in private practice achieve a work/life balance while managing a very profitable practice.

 

The pandemic has made her work crucial to the many doctors she works with.

 

Three years ago, she started her business, S2N2 Medical Business Solutions. Her passion is to help private medical practices thrive. She says proudly, “I have very good relationships with my client doctors.” Her goal is simple: to inspire people to do their best and help medical practices be more efficient and profitable.

 

Sajida is the Finance Doctor. She explains: “I specialize in the financial health of my doctors and improving practice workflow efficiency; from front desk operations to coding recommendations, to billing, to patient statements and collections.” Her business management expertise helps to maximize revenue for private medical practices allowing doctors to do what they do best: heal others.

 

The name of her business comes from her family’s favorite movie series.  “We as a family are huge fans of ‘Star Wars,’ so the name is inspired from R2D2 in Star Wars. Both my husband, Sohail, and I have names that start with “S,” and both our children’s names start with “N,” so the business is S2N2 Medical Business Solutions.”

 

Sajida says, “I love helping people. Having my own business gives me the flexibility to work on my own time.” Even so, her hours tend to be long: most days she’s at work by 8 a.m. and sometimes doesn’t finish until 8 p.m.

Helping the Homeless

She credits her father with her strong work ethic and passion for helping those in need. “I inherited the passion of helping people in need from my father.” Sajida explains, “I find joy in serving the homeless, especially kids. The joy of seeing a smile on a child's face when we give them a new toy is priceless.”  She has committed to donating 10% of her business income to charity every year and has co-founded a non-profit organization to make this happen.

Community Outreach

Sajida has been helping the community by giving out grocery boxes to the elderly during COVID, donating to the Children's Advocacy Center, giving toys to children in underserved communities, donating to Texas Food Banks, supplying a Thanksgiving meal to families staying at the Ronald McDonald house and giving clothes to the homeless.

She is also on the board of a non-profit that builds schools in remote areas where there is no internet, no schools and sometimes no electricity.

Once a year she is an integral part of the “Day of Dignity” at the Martin Luther King Center in Dallas.  “We bring people from six homeless shelters to the MLK  Center to give them clothes, undershirts, socks, hygiene kits etc.”

She has been giving 10% of her business income to charity and is very heavily involved in philanthropic work. Sajida does one project a month with the homeless or food bank or Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Her project for December 2021 was providing a holiday meal to Promise House, a homeless shelter for teens and children in Dallas, feeding twenty-five kids and ten staff members. She also gave out $35 gift cards to each of the seven teen moms at the shelter and toys to the teen moms’ babies.

 

A hard working, determined to “Do Good” woman, she says she would love to meet Oprah Winfrey one day – another woman who is known for building schools and fulfilling dreams.

 

Family Life

Married to her childhood sweetheart, Sohail Ahmed, Sajida says, “We met when I was 15, and we have been together since.” He is an architect and has his own architectural company in Fort Worth. The couple have a son who lives in Wisconsin with his wife and daughter and a daughter who lives in California.

 

Blessed with two healthy grown children and, “The love of my life, my adorable granddaughter, Nora,” Sajida is generous with others whenever she can help.

 

She loves to travel and that’s a good thing, since she’s never lived in a state or country for more than eight years. She’s moved seventeen times since being married and since moving to America, has lived in New Jersey, California, Iowa, Illinois and Texas. Her personal goal is to see all the “Wonders of the World.” So far, she’s seen the pyramids of Egypt, Niagara Falls, Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, and The Coliseum in Rome.

 

“I love to inspire people,” she says, “Everywhere I go people tell me they love reading my posts on social media and feel very good after reading them. Several of my Facebook Friends tell me they copy my posts and read them several times during the day.”

 

Overcoming Challenges

 

She also loves challenges. She remembers, “In the third year of college, I decided I wanted to major in mathematics, I studied the entire course work of two years during the summer holidays. My professor thought I was nuts and would never be able to graduate in four years, but I not only proved her wrong, but I was also at the top of my class.”

 

Life has been difficult at times. “Going to graduate school full time, with a

2-month-old baby, while working 20 hours a week and completing my dissertation, all the while applying for a full-time job on a student visa, trying to convince the companies I wanted to work for to apply for my green card - it was the toughest time of my life.” But – she survived – and now thrives. “That experience taught me that there are 24 hours in a day, and I have to make the best use of each hour.”

 

She knows she is driven. “I am a very hard worker; I have two businesses and I work seven days a week.” But she finds time to do philanthropic work and still have fun. “I like to go out, watch movies, attend parties and I love to travel.  I still have time left over, so I think to myself, why am I wasting time? What else should I do?”

 

Need to help a doctor? Or a bit of inspiration? Contact Sajida Ahmed, CEO

(682) 273-0386  or (650) 450-6531

https://bit.ly/SajidaAhmed 

www.s2n2solutions.com

 

Photo 1: Sajida Ahmed looks more like a Hollywood star than a grandmother with two master’s degrees and a Ph.D. who helps doctors avoid burn-out. A member of Oak Cliff Women in Business, she donates 10% of her business income to local charities every year and bought a holiday dinner this month for everyone staying at Promise House, a home for homeless teens.

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Vicky Gouge and friends volunteer for six months prior to the annual Dash for the Beads 5-k race, 10-K race, and mile long walk benefitting local children in area schools in Oak Cliff. Volunteers for Dash for the Beads 2022 are being sought NOW. Local businesses contribute and individuals make up the man-power necessary for a fun, positive family event.

Ready to Dash for A Good Cause? Volunteers for Dash for the Beads 2022 Sought NOW for February 2022.

When you see the “Dash for the Beads” in the press this year know that Oak Cliff resident Vicky Gouge is back volunteering in a big way to make it happen. 

The President at Full Moon Design Group, Inc. since April 2004, Vicky studied Art and Journalism at Texas State University and graduated in 1997. She moved from Houston to Dallas and has been a proud Oak Cliff resident for years.

Vicky got involved with the “Dash For the Beads” nearly a decade ago, in 2012, when her twin sister Becky Moffett told her about it. Nine years later and countless hours of volunteering, Vicky admits she does it because “I like the mission of the organization.”

Dash for the Beads is one of the largest Oak Cliff Community events with the sole focus of helping children. It’s a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that donates its proceeds to local area schools to help promote healthy eating and physical activity for grade school children. Local schools can apply for grants to encourage kids to stay in motion and learn about - and practice behavior - which leads to life-long health.

Since 2009, Dash for the Beads has sponsored an annual 10k and 5k run along with a 1-mile walk that coincides with Mardi Gras. Folks of all ages are invited to come out and “Laissez les bons temps rouler!” which is Cajun for: “Let the good times roll!”

Each year prizes are awarded for the best-dressed walker, best-dressed runner, best-dressed pet (that’s right, pet!) and a trophy for the winner of the chip-timed 10k and 5k events. “The fashions alone are a reason to come out to enjoy the event,” Vicky admits, “and benefiting the neighborhood schools is icing on the King Cake.”

The DASH initiative was created by “Cliff Dwellers” Chad West and David Sassano to raise money for Oak Cliff organizations. Hundreds of volunteers like Vicky keep it going.

When she’s not working full time as a Graphic Designer and Digital Marketer and volunteering for Dash for the Beads, Vicky and her twin sister Becky Moffett and their friend Summer Garrett work together to run Oak Cliff Women in Business (OCWIB.)

The monthly meetings of local Oak Cliff businesswomen are a chance to meet and support others who run their own companies. The meetings rotate to different sites, creating an effortless way to encourage members to visit each-other’s businesses.

Complimentary lite bites, wine, and bottled water is happily provided at the meetings. There are also door prize drawings at each OCWIB meeting. Business owners can offer to bring a prize worth a minimum of $30 which allows them to talk about their business to the group in a short 30-second “live” commercial. In addition, the Raffle Prize winners also get to explain their business to the group. Business owners - and women hoping to be business owners – are encouraged to come to meet local successful women with a wealth of knowledge who are happy to share it. Many of these women also volunteer with the Dash for the Beads event. 

The DASH event committee is always seeking sponsors, vendors, and volunteers. To get involved, or to host a future Oak Cliff Women in Business Meeting, contact Vicky Gouge at: gouge@fullmoondesigngroup.com 

Or see: https://dashforthebeads.org

For more information see The Oak Cliff Women in Business Facebook page.

Article Author Judy Porter, MBA, is a proud member of Oak Cliff Women in Business. judy-porter@sbcglobal.net or see her on Linked In: (68) Judith (Judy) Porter, MBA | LinkedIn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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After a long hard year, things are looking up for Kennedy Settimi: she's the Captain of her High School Golf Team, a dedicated volunteer and a black belt in karate. Now she's ready to go on to the next stage of her life: college.

Kennedy Irene Settimi is not your typical teenager: she's an excellent student, accomplished musician, outstanding athlete, and Black Belt in Karate.

Born and raised in Dallas, she lived in the Casa Linda neighborhood for the first two years of her life, and then grew up in the Lochwood neighborhood of east Dallas.

Because she has no brothers or sisters, she says, “I’m the star of my family!”

She certainly has accomplished enough for three people. In elementary school and middle school at Zion Lutheran, Kennedy played every sport offered: basketball, volleyball, soccer, tennis, track, and she took martial arts outside of school. She also played t-ball when she was younger, moved up to baseball until fourth grade, then softball for about a year after that. This year, as a high school senior at Bishop Lynch, she is a softball player and Captain of the Golf team.

One thing most people don’t know about her is the softball-sized cyst she had when she was just five years old. Surgery was required to find it and remove it, because, as she remembers, “We only discovered it after I had bad pains in my stomach and was throwing up profusely.” That awful time is a distant memory, and now Kennedy is a senior ready to head off into college this fall.

In addition to her classes and her sports, Kennedy completed over 100 hours of community service, volunteering with people of all ages: the elderly in the Dallas VA Medical Center running their Bingo games, assisting in Vacation Bible School for children at Bethel Lutheran Church, the Best Buddies Friendship Walk supporting inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and before COVID-19, she often volunteered at her mother’s school to help her and other teachers in their classrooms. Once she’s allowed to go back and help out, she’s ready.

Her parents met at a Lutheran Church Camp when they were about her age now, teenagers, and then reunited later in life. They have been married for 20 years. Her mother, Tracy, is a DISD Kindergarten teacher, and her father, Ron – after working in Human Resources for years - now at enjoys working with plants instead of people at Ruibal’s Nursery as Manager of Landscape and Design.

Kennedy’s home is full: she lives with her parents, her grandfather, and three adorable dogs: Harley, Truly, and Baby.

Now she’s preparing to continue her education and is interested in the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of Colorado at Denver, and Stephen F. Austin University. Her Dream College is Texas A&M University. The school is “full of history and tradition,” and Kennedy wants to become a part of that. 

With her sports background, she thinking about a major that includes sports, or possibly work in another arena that requires athletic skills, like the Fire Department. 

Her goal is simple, “To find a job that doesn’t feel like a job, because I enjoy it so much!” 

One memory she enjoys is her “meet and greet” with with Vanilla Ice, the rapper who was also born in Dallas. Kennedy would like one day to meet Miley Cyrus, another strong young woman like her, “because I love Hannah Montana and watched the show religiously when I was younger.”

Like so many, 2020 was a hard year for Kennedy. She says the toughest time of her life was in September of 2020, when her beloved aunt passed away. Kennedy says she’s still not over it, “but I try to find her in the little moments.” This positive outlook is one of the many strong personality traits she embodies.

Now she is looking forward to college, and in five years, getting into her career. Ten years from now, she hopes to have a family and enjoy her time at home. That is, when she’s not volunteering, playing sports, practicing Karate or making beautiful music on her trumpet - and in her life.

 

Judy Porter, MBA is a Lake Highlands resident and writer. Contact her at judy-porter@sbcglobal.net to tell YOUR story!

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Tennis Competitors of Dallas (TCD) 2021 President Magan Flynn and husband Will met in college and moved to Dallas in 2013 where Magan began playing tennis in TCD. The friendships she made on the court lead to her becoming a TCD Board member and now, President of the 7,000+ sports organization.

New Tennis Competitors of Dallas President Leads Ove 7,000 Local Tennis Players as New Season Begins

Most TCD Board members have served as flight directors - choosing which flight, or group, a team should compete in - before moving up to bigger board positions, but few have parachuted out of a plane. The 2021 fearless TCD Board President has.

Born in Knoxville, Tennessee and raised in Ft. Collins, Colorado, Magan Flynn attended Poudre High in Ft. Collins where she was editor of the school newspaper and ran the local chapter of the March of Dimes. Although she skied, she wasn’t into team sports. In fact, she didn’t even start playing tennis until 1997 where she learned the game from a pro in Farmington Hills, Michigan. 

Magan earned a business degree from University of Colorado, Boulder, where she played intramural volleyball. It’s also where she met her husband Will. “Our roommates introduced us at a college party in Boulder.” They’ve been married 36 years. The couple have three grown children: Andrew (31), Chris (29), Molly (29), and four grand dogs: Ginny, an Irish Doodle; Olive and Jelly, both Bernese Mountain Dogs; and Bananas, a Chow/Husky Mix “which visit us regularly.”

Magan’s first job out of college was as a “master scheduler" for Hewlett Packard – coordinating production between manufacturing and marketing. She ended up in Texas as many transplants do: her husband’s job brought them here in 2013.

“It was our tenth move and our first move without our children.  We were not planning on staying more than two years and I did not want to come at all,” she admits now. “If it were not for tennis--and the friendships we made through tennis--we would have been gone in two years.  Instead, my husband retired, and two out of our three children moved to Texas.”

Her involvement in TCD was a natural progression: “I wanted to give something back to TCD and when the opportunity to be on the Placement Committee presented itself, I jumped at it.  I was on the placement committee for a year and a half, then was the Placement Director last year.”

She also captains two teams: Ladies McKinney Midcourt Crisis (9A) and Mixed Stonebridge Ranch Overserved (4B).  And she’s the co-captain of her Love-50 Team, McKinney Matchmakers (3B).  She also plays Metro and USTA. Her leadership abilities made her an obvious choice for TCD Board President. And, by the way, she has a law degree from the University of Louisville, Kentucky, so she may be overqualified for the disputes that sometimes arise on and off the (tennis) courts.

Like many Texans, she’s met a famous player: John Newcombe, “at his tennis ranch in New Braunfels.”

Magan is happy to be a Texan now, having traveled around the world on a ship for 101 days when she was 19.  And she’s been a bit of a risk-taker for most of her life, including that parachute jump at age 20.

Back then, on a crazy whim, a parachute saved her. But since moving to Texas, it’s been more wins than whims, thanks to Tennis Competitors of Dallas.

 

Judy Eckenrode Porter, MBA is the TCD 2021 Communications Director. See the TCD Facebook Page for more information or contact her at Communications@TCDtennis.org. To learn more about the Tournament contact Beth Mahler at Tournaments@TCDtennis.org 

TCD will kick off the Spring season with a tennis tournament Thursday, Feb. 18, that will have over 1,000 players. This tournament may break the Guinness Book of World Records for participants in a single tournament. The tournament was full and had a waitlist in the first 24 hours. The stats include:

By the Numbers:

  • 1,172 ladies
  • 585 Teams – 1,172 members
  • 288 Cans of Tennis Balls
  • 238 Courts
  • 116 Flights
  • 57 Volunteer Site Coordinator
  • 25 Host Facilities

 

Host Facilities: 25 sites

CANYON CREEK CC

HACKBERRY

PRESTONWOOD

COURTS of MCKINNEY

HIGH POINT TC

ROCKWALL - RGAC

DAC

JCC

SAMUELL GRAND

EL DORADO CC

LAKEWOOD

SOUTHLAKE TC

FOUR SEASONS

LAS COLINAS CC

SPRING PARK

FRETZ

LB HOUSTON

STONEBRIAR CC

GLENEAGLES CC

OAK CREEK TC

STONEBRIDGE

GREENHILL

OASIS BEACH & TENNIS

TROPHY CLUB CC

 

 

WAGON WHEEL

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"EveryoneEatz" volunteers gather to pass out free food at a recent Dallas event. The non-profit says there is "No questions, no Judgments" for those who come for help. Begun with free pizza, the non-profit now offers Covid testing, PPE and other fresh food for those in Dallas County who need help.

"No Questions, No Judgements," says "EveryoneEatz" Founder Ram Mehta, serving the hungry throughout  the Dallas Metroplex at multiple events.

The pandemic has created chaos in our country, but Ram Mehta feels it as also offered us something special: “The best opportunity for our communities to come together.”

It was not by chance that Ram Mehta, owner of In-Fretta Pizza in Plano, saw an opportunity to help those in need.

Mehta came to New York from India as a 15-year-old tourist. The sights, sounds, and opportunities he saw lead him to make New York his new home.

But he didn’t lead a luxurious life, working 18 hours a day for a job that paid $3 an hour. Homeless and living in subways, he struggled to scrape together a living in the expensive city, and eventually moved to Texas seven years ago.

Mehta says he came for an IT job and the opportunities here, for the family atmosphere and safer community. Through hard work he became the owner of In-Fretta Pizza in Plano.

As the pandemic hit in March, Mehta saw the dire consequences of the economic fallout across the country in the news. He remembered his days of living on the streets and he was determined to help those who needed it most. 

“No questions. No judgments.” Ram would post these words on social media as he offered anyone hungry and in need a free pizza from his restaurant. As he served hundreds, he thought of an idea to expand his charitable outreach: EveryoneEatz. 

Mehta created the non-profit, EveryoneEatz, to continue the momentum. He brought together a diverse group of community members to lead the organization and to plan for the future. Their motto is: "We rise by helping others."

This team has served over 300,000 meals already to the Dallas community, feeding the hardest hit while distributing PPE and providing free COVID-19 testing. He’s already held 53 events and plans to keep going.

The outreach has earned Mehta and his board proclamations recognizing their charitable efforts from both the Collin County Commissioners Court and the State of Texas.

EveryoneEatz is helping those most afflicted in our community during this crisis. To volunteer, look on the website, www.everyoneeatz.org. To learn more about upcoming events, follow the non-profit's efforts on Facebook and Instagram. For more information call 469-494-9555 or email support@everyoneeats.org

 

Judy Porter is a writer in Dallas and a volunteer with homeless teens. Contact her at: judy-porter@sbcglobal.net

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Altrusa International of Downtown Dallas Club members were very colorful at the 2019 District Conference held in Richardson. Outgoing Club President, Debbie Tull (in yellow on left) was honored last month during the Annual Awards Meeting as the "Altrusan of the Year" for 2019-2020 for her leadership of the Downtown Dallas Club throughout the year. Due to the Coronavirus, this year's banquet was a well-attended ZOOM meeting led by Past President Kristi Francis. The club has helped women and children in Dallas since 1982.

Downtown Dallas Club Honors Members for Thousands of Hours Volunteered to the Community in 2019-2020

The BEST way to find yourself is in Service to Others – Ghandi

“Hats off to Altrusa!” was the theme for this year’s Annual Awards Meeting for the Altrusa International Club of Downtown Dallas, a 38-year old community service club that serves the downtown Dallas community. The club boasts leaders from every sector of the business community, and members have raised over $3 million dollars since its inception in 1982 to fund projects that help non-profits that support women and children in crisis and promotes literacy.

The annual celebration typically has been held at the Lakewood Country Club in east Dallas, but this year was hosted on Zoom with CPA Kristi Francis, a Past President of the club, as Master of Ceremonies. Each club member was asked to dress up by donning a hat or fascinator, and the MC wore her bridal veil which brought smiles to the 50 club members on the Zoom call.

This year’s “Altrusan of the Year,” honor was awarded to outgoing President Debbie Tull. This is the highest honor bestowed by the club’s members. To recognize her hard work all year the club made a $500 donation to the Altrusa International Foundation in Debbie’s name. This “Lamplighter” award is named after Martha Hofmeister, another well-known member of the downtown Dallas Club. Hofmeister has served Altrusa on the local, state/District Nine and International levels for over three decades. Hofmeister is a two-time Past President of the Downtown Dallas Club, and founder and director of Bar None, an all-volunteer Broadway-style musical variety show that features local judges and lawyers making fun of their profession to raise money for minority law students across the state. The show has delighted audiences at SMU for 34 years but is on hiatus this year due to the Coronavirus.

The “Heart of Altrusa” award was created in 1990 and goes to the member who “brings us all together in a spirit of cooperation.” Fund Raising Chair for the past two years and president-elect Naomi Ayala earned the award voted on by all the club members. A senior consultant with Diagio Reserve, she is the current president of the Dallas Professional Bartenders Association and was just appointed to the national board.

Two members of the club received their 30-year pins, Real Estate Attorney Barbara Kennedy of Lakewood and Public Relations Director Judy Porter of Lake Highlands.

The club met the first Tuesday of each month at the City Club on the 69th floor of the Bank of America Building downtown for over three decades but moved last year to the Park Cities Club located on Sherry Lane. Since the recent shut-down, the club has been meeting successfully over Zoom.

The Downtown Dallas Club was recently awarded a $4,000 grant to continue helping people in need in downtown Dallas.

Debbie Tull told the club via e-mail in May: “We are so fortunate to have these funds to support our service projects, thanks to Altrusa International Foundation. These funds are only available because of your generosity and that of Altrusans’ across the globe. Our club has now received $12,000 within one calendar year from the International Foundation.”

Fund Raising Chair Naomi Ayala and committee member Ann Worthy along with 2020-21 President attorney Karen Washington and past presidents Kathaleen Bauer, Judy Porter and Debbie Tull worked together on the grants. The bulk of the funds will be used to continue the club's commitment with Incarnation House, a safe place for homeless teens to go after school to study and eat dinner, and help locally with the Period Project, making feminine supplies available to homeless and low-income women. Even as the Coronavirus stopped on-site volunteering the members of Altrusa funded fresh food boxes to be sent to the homeless students of North Dallas high school whom attend programs at Incarnation House.

The Club members also donate to the Reagan Lorenzen Scholarship Fund, in the name of a former beloved club president, which provides scholarships to first-generation college students graduating from the Irma Rangel Leadership School for Girls located next to Fair Park. Scholarships of $1,000 are awarded to deserving graduates and this year a suitcase was given to each of the 2020 graduates for them to pack for college in style.

Meals on Wheels, Shared Housing, Human Rights Initiative (HRI) and Aberg Literacy are a few of the many non-profits Altrusa of Downtown Dallas pairs up with to make the City of Dallas a better place to work and live.

Members come from a variety of backgrounds and careers and invite anyone interested in serving the Dallas Community to come to a Monthly lunch to learn more. See the club’s website www.altrusadtd.com or the Altrusa International of Downtown Dallas Facebook page for more information, or text 972-880-5571.

Mentoring for new Dallas business leaders will be a focus this year, so if you or someone you know is just starting a business or career, it’s a great time to join Altrusa!

Congratulations to these 2020-21 CLUB OFFICERS

Karen Washington, President: karen@robertswashington.com

Naomi Ayala, President – Elect

Ann Worthy – Vice President Fundraising

Terri Richards Pescatori, Vice President Communications

Carol Kilman, Vice President Membership

Marge Camstra, CPA, Vice President Service

Nicole Leboeuf, Parliamentarian

Suzanne Buss, Secretary

Angela Coronia, CPA, Treasurer

Debbie Tull, Immediate Past President

           

Judy Porter, MBA, is an award-winning volunteer and local writer and Public Relations specialist who promotes locals small businesses, non-profits and individuals.

Contact her at: judy-porter@sbcglobal.net

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Rise Nyren, on left, has been tutoring students for nearly two decades, from 1st grade through college. She attended the graduation of one of her students at SMU last year, in 2019. Her advice to parents can help them be the best Home School Teachers they can be. She's made a list of Top Ten Tips for Home School Teachers she is happy to share.

Home Schooling Parents Take Comfort: Professional Tutor Rise Nyren can Help

Don’t tear your hair out – call for help! This Professional Tutor is ready to RISE to the occasion.

As parents all over America struggle to Home School their children, a veteran of the process can give true hope—and advice—to these new teachers.

Rise Nyren has been professionally tutoring children of all ages for nearly two decades. She is ready to help parents who are stuck inside with their children and desperate for help.

Born in New York, New York, Rise laughs, “I lived there all of six months!” She was raised along with her two sisters Jennifer Potts Nicholson and Julie Potts Hoffman in Southern California mostly, with a detour to Nebraska and to Chicago for one year each.

Growing up, Rise wanted to be an artist and a pediatrician or a veterinarian and was planning to adopt six children and having six of her own. She admits, “By the time I was in high school I had switched to the more practical interest of theater. LOL!”

At Tustin High School in Tustin, California, she was in cross country, on student council, and in the Thespian club. In theater she directed and acted in plays and oversaw costumes for large productions. She remembers, “I loved every aspect of the theater department!”

Few people know she won “Best One-Act Play” while in high school, playing a housewife who lives in a glass house, which closes in around her, representing the expectations of society stifling a person. It almost appears as a metaphor for what is happening today with parents quarantined in their homes and forced to teach their children subjects they know little about.

On the other end of the spectrum, Rise also played “Hot Lips Houlihan” in a production of Mash!

She briefly attended the University of Santa Barbara for a year and a half after high school as a theater major. “But, because I had to work, quit college to figure out a way to do theater, work, and attend college.”

She ended up at the University of North Texas. Rise majored in English literature and history and was nominated for English Undergraduate Student of the Year. She received many scholarships, including: the Ledbetter Scholarship, the Heritage Scholarship, the College of Arts and Sciences Scholarship, and the Department of English scholarship.

She was a member of the Golden Key and Phi Alpha Theta Honor Societies and was on the National Dean’s List and the President’s List.

After college, Rise took part in the ACT Houston at Dallas, an alternative teaching certification program in Dallas. She studied for the middle school generalist certification test offered in 2008, scoring a 280 out of 300.

She’s been a professional tutor since 2003. She understands that now, more than ever, her skills are needed.

She says, “I love tutoring and the difference I can make in children’s lives. It is amazing how much can be accomplished at home by combining different subjects and reinforcing their learning through writing across the curriculum.”

She explains, “My passion is to communicate and to reach out to others. That can mean to interpret literature or history to children, to learn a new language, or to act in a play by August Strindberg. I often teach children, but I love to communicate to everyone.”

Although she works mainly with children, she even helped a student throughout his time at SMU to obtain his college degree.

She raised her daughter, Hannah, as a single mother, and is proud of her. Hannah is a Digital Marketing Manager in Boston and Rise says, “She loves books, also!” In fact, the toughest time in Rise’s life was when she was left alone to raise her little girl. She overcame it with activity: “I threw myself into the kind of mom I’d always wanted to be and took in a few extra children to give them a wholesome, educational environment.”

Rise has lived all over north Dallas. “I lived on historical Swiss Avenue near Lakewood when I first moved to Dallas. I love Lakewood! A great walking neighborhood!” She’s also lived in Carrollton and in Plano in a few neighborhoods: Bunker Hill Estates, The Marquis (condominiums at Park and Preston), Parker Road Estates.

At home, Rise lives with her miniature Dachshund, Sparkle, ten years old, who she says is extremely loyal and friendly. To relax, Rise writes poetry. If she could meet anyone, she says she’d like to like to meet those who have great wisdom: C.S. Lewis, Sir Isaac Newton, Anne Bronte.

Rise hopes in five years, she’ll still be happily teaching and sharing with her students.  And in ten years, “I will be working or retired overseas. Ideally, I will have a combination of both with part-time remote work.”

For today, she is happy to help parents who are going stir crazy with trying to teach their own children. She has a Top Ten Tips list for parents who are teaching their children at home.

Contact her at rise.nyren2@gmail.com

Or text 859-684-0870 for advice or help. Just know that you are not alone – there IS help.

 

Judy Porter, MBA, is a former teacher and a Dallas writer who loves to share stories about local heroes, non-profits and businesses. judy-porter@sbcglobal.net

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As the kicker for SMU's football team, Brad Namdar had multiple opportunities to meet the school's biggest fan, former President Bush. Brad kicked the team to a bowl championship in 2012, his second: he also helped Texas Tech win a Bowl game in 2008. To relax in college, Brad made scented candles and now his wares are being sold in Neiman Marcus stores. He spends his free time volunteering in dozens of local agencies.

Former Mountainview Soccer Coach Brad Namdar Lights the World Up with his Successful Candle Business, and Volunteering at 30 Local Agencies

Brad Namdar is a Renaissance Man.

The proud owner of two college Football Bowl Championship rings, he is also a former soccer player, Estagio for FC Dallas, College Soccer Coach, former championship figure skater, and has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and Kung Fu. He loves collecting coins and stamps and singing Frank Sinatra songs. His latest success has been in the art world and Home Décor. His scented luxury candles are a hit and the sweet smell of success is strong.

A proud Texan, born in Medical City Dallas, he is a first generation American born and raised in Dallas, Texas. His parents are Persian. 

He currently lives in Uptown but was raised in Plano, along with his older sister Mora. He graduated from Plano West, where he admits, “I did just about everything: football, wrestling, Debate team, French Club, and I was a Select soccer player soccer to be on the US Youth National Pool Player.” He wanted to grow up to be many things: a professional soccer player, NFL Quarterback or kicker, President of the United States, an attorney, a successful businessman, “Even a secret agent like 007, or an actor!” Brad admits with a laugh. Deep down he knew he just really wanted to help others.

He attended Texas Tech in the fall of 2007 and played college football under Head Coach Mike Leach. His team won the Gator Bowl in January of 2008. Brad transferred into SMU in 2008 and helped the Mustangs win the BBVA Compass Bowl under Head Coach June Jones in 2012. 

Academically, Brad was awarded the William J. O’Neil Business Journalism Scholarship at SMU and the winner of the SMU Big Ideas grant and scholarship which included receiving awards from the White House in 2010, CBS’ “Texan with Character,” and among countless other awards and honors. Brad helped promote the “Dream Big” program and it spread like wildfire to 11 college campuses, providing scholarships for many other college students. Additionally, during his undergraduate studies, where he earned his Journalism Degree and Philosophy Minor, he was also the Estagio for FC Dallas Estagio; the first in the history of US Soccer and MLS for FC Dallas under HC Schellas Hyndman and USDA Academy Head Coach Oscar Pareja, and a Private Kicking Coach and Soccer Coach at St. Mark’s School of Texas.  .

After Brad’s undergraduate studies he became the SMU Men’s Soccer Director of Operations for two years, where Brad continued his education, receiving a Masters in Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management from SMU in 2014 during which time he became a license Mediator and received his Executive Business Coaching Certification in 2013.

While in college, to decompress, he began making scented candles. He learned how to do it from googling it and eventually his dorm room was so full of candles his teammates told him he should sell his wares. A business was born, and this year Neiman Marcus featured his candles in their Black Friday sales.

As busy as he was, he admits his toughest year came in 2014 when he took a job as a Finance and Accounting Teacher and Head Boys Soccer Coach at North Dallas High School in 2014. Dealing with hundreds of students—some in rival street gangs—plus lesson plans, after school soccer practices, soccer games on the road and an administration he found unsupportive, Brad did his best to keep positive. “I gave everything I had to the kids and the school,” he says proudly, “But I learned what was wrong with the bureaucracy in education and what holds our kids back.” After North Dallas, Brad Coached College Soccer for 1 year at Mountain View College as the Head Men’s and Women’s Soccer Coach (the youngest college soccer head coach in the country at the time), and after the season, he decided to pursue his business opportunities to take a break from the field. 

One thing that hasn’t gone away is his love for business and for his fiancé’ Pia Lara. Although they attended the same University, they met on Facebook. Pia was the captain of the SMU Swim team, and graduated with her Bachelor’s in Business and French, then earned an MBA from SMU's Cox School of Business. Brad says “She’s out of my league. I’m a lucky guy.”

The two traveled to the UN last weekend when Pia was invited to attend the National Hispanic Summit. Brad was invited to attend as an ally for the Hispanic and Latino community regarding Business and Political Affairs due to his success being an entrepreneur. The two said the experience was phenomenal. 

Brad is the CEO of Namdar Décor, The House of Namdar, and has other ventures including consulting, he named his first company PRSB LLC, after his beloved family dogs Pepe, Romeo, Simba and Bella. 

He is most known for two of his primary businesses, the House of Namdar Art House and Namdar Décor – Luxury Candle Fragrance Company/Home Décor.

As president of the Namdar Group his Consulting Practice, Brad says his passion in life is to help people. He’s already assisted over 30 non-profits. At just 30 years old Brad has experience in International Trade and Commerce and the manufacturing supply chain, wholesale, distribution and commerce. He’s happy to coach others in these areas, having been mentored and guided by others in his journey to a successful business.

He's met a lot of famous people in his coaching and business worlds, but Brad says he wishes he could have known his grandfathers who passed away before he had the chance to meet them. He’d love to play poker with the “old school Hollywood legends” and actors like A Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Christopher Walker, and Frank Sinatra if possible.

 

Few people know Brad is a state champion figure skater, earning a gold medal in 1998 at the Level Free Style 3, or that he has a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do & Kung Fu. He also collects coins, currency notes, and stamps which says he knows makes him sound like an old man. He even did a Stand-Up Comedy routine in front of a sold-out crowd at McFarlin Auditorium at SMU and can still kick of 60-yard field goal and juggle a soccer ball 100 times without the ball hitting the ground.

He admits challenges and tough times in athletics as a coach and a player, as a teacher, a family member, a business owner, and a philanthropist have made him who he is today, and looks forward to a future where he can continue helping others through his coaching and mentoring. “No experience is a bad experience,” he says, “because without the bad ones we don’t know the good ones. When you have a bad experience, you can learn from it, and become a stronger person because of it.” 

What does the future hold? “I see myself still helping people and being married, with kids.  Who knows what endeavors I will be pursuing then? But I can guarantee you this, I will be pushing to grow and will continue doing everything I can to keep helping others.”

Got a question for Brad? See him on Social Media:

Twitter: @bradnamdar

Instagram: @bradnamdartx

bn@namdardecor.com

 

 

Judy Porter lives in Dallas and writes about local heroes. Contact her at judy-porter@sbcglobal.net.

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Senior High School Student Tia Einhorn is Creating New Ways to Help Children of Disabled Parents

Raised in a home with a disabled mother, Tia grew up with a sensitivity for the needs of others. “By the time I reached kindergarten, I had already grown accustomed to opening doors for others and carrying their bags – behaviors that do not typify five-year-olds. The nature of my upbringing, having a keen thoughtfulness, exposed me to the impact of service.” 

That has led to a life of service, both in her school and within her Jewish Community and the Dallas community as well. Even on the weekends, when most kids sleep in, Tia is out helping others, like participating in Friendship Circle, a Jewish organization that brings together children with physical disabilities and those wishing to serve. Tia modestly says, “I just go and play with the kids.” But she adds, “My service to others has taught me to keep an open heart and open mind with each person I encounter–not every struggle is visible.”

She’s raised money for a school in Malawi, has volunteered numerous times at Vogel Alcove, a daycare for homeless children, and worked for hurricane relief for Houston. Now she is working to find a way to connect children of parents with disabilities to each-other so they can be supported as she has been by her community. Helping others through tough times like she’s lived through has molded Tia’s present and future.

Tia credits a popular movie she enjoyed as an eight-year-old that inspired her to seek a career helping others. “I saw ‘Legally Blonde’ and fell in love with the beauty, glamour, and ‘pinkness’ of Reese Witherspoon’s character,” she admits with a laugh, “I was captivated by Elle Woods’ ambition–-her persistence to achieve her dream of becoming a lawyer.”

Soon she became her family’s ‘lawyer in-training.’ “I would write ‘contracts’ and persuaded the parties involved to sign on the dotted lines. My parents supported me in my legal endeavors and supplied me with legal notepads and “sign here” stickers. In time, I expanded my services to include friends and neighbors.” Although her pursuit of law began as playful fun, it has matured into an earnest journey. She started reading her aunt’s law dictionaries and watching videos covering court cases, and TV dramas like Law and Order. At events she would bombard every lawyer in sight with questions written in her glittery, purple notepad. Now at seventeen, she’s witnessed the justice systems’ failure in supporting vulnerable minors, especially in cases involving the foster care system and children with disabilities. Tia now hopes to become an attorney who protects children.

Born in Petach, Tikvah Israel, and raised in Shoham until Tia came to America at the age of five, the daughter of immigrants, English was not her first language. The family lived in Virginia Beach, and moved to Dallas as Tia was entering the 7th grade. She has one older brother, Roy, 19, who is attending his dream college, NYU, where he’s studying Film and TV Production. “I couldn’t be any happier for him!” Now it’s her turn to get into the college of her choice.

A senior at Yavneh Academy of Dallas where she is Captain of the Varsity volleyball team, Tia is also senior managing editor of the school’s award-winning student newspaper, “The Bulldog Print.” She obtained that top job after climbing the leadership ranks, starting as a reporter freshman year. And she’s an active member of BBYO - the largest Jewish youth group organization in America, and has held numerous leadership roles, this year as Vice President. She is also serving as North Texas-Oklahoma’s 35th Regional Vice President.

She oversees all events for the region’s 900+ members and has planned and coordinated two conferences with over 200 Jewish high school attendees from Dallas, Fort Worth and Tulsa. She enjoys knowing that she can give back to an organization that gave so much to her.

As important as her past endeavors are, Tia is most excited about her current project. She is searching for ways to connect children of parents with disabilities and other medical issues in the DFW area to each-other so they can be supported as she has been by her community. “I know I was fortunate to have good people around me as my parents went through their medical difficulties,” Tia says. Helping others through tough times like she’s lived through has molded Tia’s present and future. With hopes of expanding her support, she aspires to, one day, have an established organization which will provide additional support to these children. Her biggest dream is for that circle to expand and grow into helping many kids around the state and beyond. She wishes for that dream to coincide with her future career as a lawyer as she will be able to provide more ways of support.

Last year, Tia was accepted into a competitive internship program at StandWithUs, an organization educating others about Israel. With over 475 applicants, only 100 juniors and seniors are accepted. Tia thought she’d apply as a junior and then when she didn’t get accepted, she’d re-apply as a senior, but she was surprised to be accepted right away. As part of the high school program, Tia says she was given a platform within her community to inform others on the issue. 

Tia has served the Jewish and Dallas communities in various ways, including a book drive where over 2,000 books were collected to be sent to Israel to teach young children English. Tia and a fellow Dallas intern presented the project at various schools and synagogues, using the book drive as an opportunity to educate others. Receiving an overwhelming response from the community, more books than could travel were donated. The team decided to give back to their own community - distributing the extra books to underprivileged neighborhoods in Dallas. As they dispersed the additional books, they used it as a time to educate those unaware of Israel’s impact on the world.

Tia is taking her future seriously and hopes to continue her volunteering as she attends college. She has visited several college campuses including George Washington University, the University of Miami and the University of Maryland. Her dream college is Tulane University in Louisiana where she hopes to major in Legal Studies and Business. After college, she intends to go to Law School with her goal to open a non-profit firm, to help others who can’t afford a lawyer.

She hopes serving others will open doors for her, just as she has been opening doors for others since she was five. “Volunteering and making my parents proud,” is Tia’s goal, “and start living my best life,” just like Elle Woods.

Want more information about helping support children of disabled parents? Email Tia at tiae1432@gmail.com

(photos sent to Sarah@Bubblife.com)

 

Writer Judy Porter lives in Dallas and can be contacted at judy-porter@sbcglobal.net